A Tainted Well. The Objectives, Historical Fantasies and Working Methods of James Stuart,

Julian Cobbing


The James Stuart Archive of Recorded Oral Evidence Relating to the History of the Zulu and Neighboring Peoples, edited and translated by C. de B. Webb and J.R. Wright, 4 volumes to date (University of Natal Press, 1976-86)

Stuart: ‘How difficult (is) the problem of reconciling peoples who (Have) once come to be in a state of antagonizing. I emphasized the necessity of going to the origins of things
Mbovu: 'We ought to be grateful that these cruel times of the past are no more. The white people with their key locked all that up.

One who helped turn the key in the lock was the Natalian James Stuart (1868-1942) who between 1894 and 1924 spent considerable time and energy interviewing elderly Zulu in order to obtain information on Zulu history and customs. His notes: with extensive passages in Zulu, were later deposited in the Killie Campbell Library, Durban.

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